Autoimmune Hypothyroidism: Addressing False Negatives
Written by Dr. Kevin Conners
Last week we discussed the immune system and how it is separated into a Th1 and Th2 response. The Th1 response is the killer-cell, destroyer, police force, and the Th2 response is the maker of antibodies. So how does one know that they are autoimmune hypothyroid (Hashimoto’s) or one of the other forms of hypothyroid?
Proper lab testing is the key. As I write about in my book, “Help, My Body is Killing Me…” the immune system creates a number of little messenger chemicals called cytokines, unique to each response generated. If we do proper testing, we can measure the cytokines and determine if there is an abundance in Th1 or Th2 chemicals. This increase in Th1 cytokines (for example) would indicate an autoimmune response that is Th1 dominant (stuck in a hyper Th1, killer response). This is the most common thing we see with hypothyroid patients.
Many patients I consult with erroneously believe they are NOT autoimmune because their doctor ‘ran the test.’ Inquiring, I discover that the doctor tested solely for thyroid antibodies, the standard testing to determine autoimmune thyroid disease. However, one needs to simply understand enough physiology contained in the above paragraph to conclude that reliance on positive antibody tests alone are NOT enough.
If a patient is Th1 dominant autoimmune, their Th2 system will be suppressed. Which of the two sides of the immune system makes antibodies? The Th2 system! If the Th2 system is suppressed, the chance of a Th1 dominant Hashimoto’s patient showing antibodies in a routine blood test is rare. False negatives abound.
Remember the nine things we need answers to from the last lesson:
- Identify IF the patient is autoimmune.
- Identify the specific antigen(s) in this immune dysregulation.
- Identify if the patient is Th1 or Th2 dominant
- Identify if the Th17 system is also ramped-up
- Identify other areas of inflammation (most commonly in the brain)
- Identify other down-regulated organ systems
- Start immune regulatory procedures to calm the immune attack
- Start detoxifying the antigen(s)
- Start correcting the imbalances elsewhere
We just answered number 1 and number 3. Next week we’ll attack this problem a little deeper.
Read all about this and similar information on Dr. Conners website and even download a FREE COPY of his book at www.upperroomwellness.com.
Dr. Conners’ bio:
Doctor of Chiropractic, Northwestern Health Sciences University; Fellowship in Health Research Outcomes, National Institutes of Health; currently studying for Diplomate Status in Neurology, Carrick Institute; Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine; Fellowship in Integrative Cancer Therapy; and Master Degree through South Florida School of Medicine; over 100 hours postgraduate study in Autism Spectrum Disorders; practicing Applied Kinesiologist. Full bio here: http://drkevinconners.com/?page_id=1
Tags: Addressing false negatives, autoimmune disease, Autoimmune hypothyroidism, cytokines, false negatives, Th1 dominant, Th2 dominant, thyroid antibodies, UpperRoom Wellness, written by Dr. Kevin Conners